The worst part is, most don’t even realize it.
Every now and again, life shows up at your front door, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t just show up, it breaks the fucking door down with a sledgehammer laced with teeth.
Its malevolent mace insidiously interferes with everything that was once calm, clear, and predictable.
If you’re like me, when the shit hits the fan, you pray. But you’re not really praying, are you? You’re asking God for a sign. A compass. Even a slight nudge to create momentum to get you out of this mess would suffice.
Nobody wants to read your writing. It’s nothing personal. They just don’t. Why? Writing is an (almost) parallel universe to advertising, and people fucking hate advertising.
And most people feel the exact same about your writing. As soon as your article, blog, or book materializes in their inbox or…
Bad news first: You could have the next ‘Salem’s Lot in the works as we speak. Perhaps your story even has its own proprietary “REDRUM” to be echoed by readers for years to come — that would be truly awesome.
But, if your plot isn’t drawing a picture for your reader, it won’t have nearly the oomph it deserves, and your following will be slow and stagnant instead of meteoric.
Because let’s face it, readers don’t read based on the potential of the writer, but the power him or her’s words have over them.
Now for the good news: Perhaps…
When the only remaining patron is the Devil himself…
It was 1:29 AM at Mickey’s Pub when the bat wing doors flew open. Trembling on their hinges like loose teeth. Not a soul walked through.
“Hello?” the owner, Michael Geathers, stopped wiping down the bar mat. He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, threw the egg white towel over his shoulder and pushed the sleeves of his Brewers baseball tee to the crooks of his elbows. “Someone there?”
“Is this Michael Geathers’ establishment?” a low growl came from the darkness beyond the doorway. …
You are an expert. More than that, somebody (a lot of somebody’s, actually) are willing to pay you for your expertise. With that in mind, I only have two questions:
As Alec Baldwin said in the 1992 film, Glengarry Glen Ross, “They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money…are you gonna take it?”
If you feel impostor syndrome crawling up your legs right now, good. If the very idea of selling your intellectual property scares you, even better. I can only speak…
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) as reported by Fundera, if you’re a startup, there’s a 20% chance that this time next year, your business will fail. To make matters worse, when we look into the crystal ball, the future doesn’t get much brighter: BLS’ data shows a 30% chance of failure after the second year in business, and by the end of year five, close to half of startups nationwide will have closed their doors.
This begs the question, “Why do startups fail?”
The answer is as simple as it is sobering: they run out of cash…
Most mission statements suck. There, I said it. In order to prove it to you, I’d like you to do three things:
What’d you come across? Wait, let me guess…the mission statements you read probably went a little something like this:
“We exist to…blah, blah, blah, followed by vague and corporate nonsense.”
“My grandfather started the company 60 years ago…blah, blah, blah, followed by a long, uninteresting exposition.”
Website shame is an uncomfortable reality for most business owners, and if nothing is done to remedy the situation, it only gets worse. If you have website shame, this is probably how it has come up in conversation:
“I have a website, but…”
“Here’s my card, just don’t look at my website…”
“Yes we have a website, but we’re more active on social media…”
The result? Your website’s appearance and message are no different than everyone else’s — vague, disengaging, shameful white noise.
This has always been a head-scratcher for me. Your business is your baby. It deserves to be…
They shot the white girl first.
See what I did there? You effectively got bitch-slapped into a story you know absolutely nothing about, but wanted to — felt compelled to, really— find out what happens next.
That is how you hook your reader immediately.
A teacher of mine, Donald Miller once told me:
“The job of the first sentence is to get the reader to read the second sentence.” — Donald Miller
If you aspire to write horror, (or any kind of genre, fiction or non-fiction, for that matter) then know you don’t need to be an expert on exposition…
It was 6:58 AM. Sheriff Crick had just started his shift and was cruising Highway 41 North in Brown County, Wisconsin. It was the middle of July and the sun crept gingerly above the treeline and was explosively hot. Harsh rays streaked through the branches and made crazy zigs and zags on the Sheriff’s hazel eyes. He took the Lineville Road exit and made a right toward his usual breakfast joint, Bucky’s Diner.
His only gripe was that they didn’t allow smoking. So, after he slapped the stick in P, he parked a Pall Mall under his mustache and lit…
Writer for The Startup and Better Marketing | Owner of Weekly Horror Stories and How They're Written | I exist to help others live their Unlived Life.